Last night, Steve and I attended the premier event of the new exhibit at the Sprocket. It wasn't open to the public yet, but we bought special tickets back in February so that we could get a look at it early.
I'm not going to lie to you fine people, I really wasn't sure I wanted to go. If the tickets hadn't been so expensive, I wouldn't have gone.
I suppose that to some of you it just seems kind of dumb and cowardly for me to feel that way. However, I beg of you to please realize that I don't have a great deal of confidence in myself on the best of days, but I especially don't have any when it comes to situations where I've endured stress. I kind of just internally crumple into a heap, stick my fingers in my ears, and sing "LALALALALALALALALALA" until the moment passes. It's not a great way to deal with things, but sometimes it's the only way. Don't judge me.
One reason I was worried about going back to the Sprocket was because I was afraid of how people would react to seeing me there after the mess of me getting fired. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't expecting to be thrown out or to be spit on. I guess I was more worried that people would just be painfully awkward if I walked up and talked to them (horrors, because I hate the awkward) or even worse, just not care at all. I know how that sounds, but I can't think of anything worse in this type of situation than realizing that I was way more invested in friendships or acquaintances than the other people were. You know, thinking "Oh, there is my friend! I've missed them so much! It will be so good to see them and catch up! They are so awesome!" and then rushing to see them, or even just trying to keep in touch with them, only to realize they are pretty much indifferent. I've had that happen to me before and it's kind of horrible. I tend to take my friendships to heart, and it's always painful when I realize that other person doesn't feel the same way. I usually end up trying too hard, emailing or calling too much or whatever, and I don't realize until it's too late that I'm pretty much just sort of a chore to the other person. It's sad. I'd rather not be be friends with someone at all, if that were the case.
I was worried that I'd get there, all excited to see people I'd worked with and liked a great deal and they'd be all "Oh, you were gone? I never noticed. I'd love to seem interested in your life, but I've got no desire to do so. Tell you what, I'll give you a call when I can take the time to care, OK? Um, well, see you later!"
I was also worried that I'd run across my former bosses, the ones who were so unfair to me (and whatever else happened, they WERE unfair to me) and I'd have to deal with that. I wouldn't want to be nice to them, but I also wouldn't want to be rude either. I can do the whole fake polite thing if I have to, but I don't like it. It makes me feel reddish-brown inside. Trust me, that is not a pleasant feeling. I think I was more worried about seeing them than anything else. It's kind of an offshoot of what I explained above. It's what happens after you find out that someone you liked and respected didn't feel the same way at all. There is embarrassment and awkwardness, and in this case, wanting to beat them with a stick and tell them how much they suck.
To take everything I have just written and put it in a nutshell: I was being a coward.
I recognized that I was being a coward about 5 minutes before we left for the event. I actually had to take a moment to sit down and talk to myself about it. Stupid, I know, but I did it. I had to remind myself that whatever happened, however the people treated me, I would just go and have a good time, and smile. If people I thought were my friends didn't care I was standing in front of them, then I could forget those guys. I don't work with them anymore, after all, right? If people acted awkwardly, I would just be anti-awkward. I'd be so anti-awkward that it would only make them more awkward! It is my belief that you can't help who you love or care about, when it all comes down to it, and if someone doesn't feel the same way...it's their loss. If I came across my former bosses, I'd be just as nice as I could be. I'd already let them completely pull the rug out from under me once, but I wouldn't show it. It was a truly rare moment of self possession for myself and I have no idea where it came from. I felt 100% better after that.
In the end, everything turned out fine! The exhibit was very cool, I never once came across my former bosses, I got hugged by several people I wouldn't have expected it from and I got to talk to a lot of people who seemed genuinely glad to see me! There were some awkward people who didn't look me in the eyes at first, but I stood there and made them talk to me until they loosened up. Not bad at all. Steve and I had a wonderful time, and everything turned out great. Now, if could just figure out where that well of self-confidence came from so that I could use it again, that would be awesome.
I had no idea how tense I had been about going back to the Sprocket until I woke up this morning. I mean, I knew I was worried about it inside my head, but I felt like I'd been carrying around a weight that I finally got to put down. Closure can do that, I suppose. Closure is wonderful.
I also think that, after last night, I may have reached a zen point about losing my job. I don't know where that came from, either. I'm still sad I lost it, because I have a lot of friends there and I loved doing the job, but I finally feel like there might have been some kind of universal reason I was let go. Now that I know I still have my friends there, and they haven't disowned me or forgotten me yet, I feel so much better. I'm sure they'll forget about me sooner or later, but hopefully something about me will stick with them. I know they'll stick with me. I don't mean to sound all "Self-Help Book" about it or anything like that, but there was a part of me that felt like I had my skirt caught in a car door. I could twist and pull, but it wasn't going to get free until I opened the door and pulled it out. I feel like I did that. Now I've just got to figure out where to go next.
So, now you know what kind of insecure and neurotic little beastie I am. I hope you can still love me anyways. If you can't, it's your loss, right? ; )
PS: You want to know the funniest thing? We got there well after the ribbon cutting ceremony had ended, so I didn't get to see Carrie Fisher. I was hoping I'd at least get to see her, or hoping that she might have been signing books or something somewhere, so I asked Anthony if she was still around. Turns out, she never showed up! The damned reason I was fired was because I told people she was going to be there and she didn't even come! I have no idea why she wasn't there or anything, though. maybe it was scheduling, maybe it was some kind of family thing, but oh, y'all...that was just the icing on the cake. That, if nothing else, helped me find my zen. I hope Ms. Fisher and her loved ones are OK, but I'd like to publicly thank her for not coming. She probably won't read this herself, but if the same tattle-tale bastards from LucasArts who got me in trouble to begin with find this blog again, maybe they'll pass on my message to her.
Me and my homeboy, Chewbacca. Steve also found a mistake in this part of the exhibit. The little sign next to Han Solo's costume said it was worn in "A New Hope" but apparently Han Solo wore blue pants with red stripes in that movie. These were brown with yellow stripes. Leave it to Steve to catch that. Also, I'd like to thank the high intensity halogen light for making me look like a person molded out of cottage cheese.